Welcome BOS members and all interested in birding Western New York and Niagara Peninsula of Ontario!

featured bird photo
Black-crowned Night-Heron photographed along the Bird Island Pier.

Scoping April

The month of April starts big and ends big! The onslaught of migrants begins in earnest this month.
We start with waterfowl and raptors, move into temperate migrants and then the early arriving Neotropicals! On the second Sunday of the month is the BOS's annual April Bird Census. We always need volunteers to help cover the BOS's vast study area. If you'd like to help, please contact Celeste Morien, the compiler, at Celeste.morien@gmail.com

This is the best month to spend some time at the local hawk watch in Hamburg. This all-volunteer hawkwatch will have an official counter stationed here daily, unless it's pouring rain. April offers the best diversity for migrating raptors. In addition to highlights of Golden Eagle, Goshawk and Rough-legged Hawk, other species such as diurnal migrant Short-eared Owls, Sandhill Crane, Snow Goose and other rarities have occurred. Pileated Woodpeckers frequently fly through the woods here and this is one of the best spots to cross paths with a Vesper Sparrow during migration.

Iroquois NWR is booming with migrant waterfowl now. Drakes in their full alternate plumage are dazzling to see. Herons and egrets are newly returned and displaying in their rookeries. Osprey are back on their nesting platforms throughout the refuge system. American Bitterns and Virginia Rails will be calling in the marshes. Another gem to be found here is the Black Tern, the last nesting colony in WNY!

Our local migrant hot spots are receiving lots of attention as passerines begin filtering back into town; Hermit Thrush, Brown Thrasher, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Warm fronts at the end of the month will usher in the first warblers and vireos of the season. Get your hummingbird feeders out as Ruby-throateds and Baltimore Orioles will be looking for fuel. Get your rest! May is up next!

The Buffalo Ornithological Society (BOS) has something to offer to anyone passionate about birds: from the backyard feeder- watcher, the avid lister or the environmental activist, to the dedicated citizen scientist or the professional ornithologist. Society activities include regular programs, field trips, intensive long-term bird counts, checklist and date guide development, varied research activities, and involvement in local conservation efforts. We invite you to join in the activities of the society!

 BOS Membership  

The Buffalo Ornithological Society, Inc. was established in 1929 to promote the study of the birds of the Niagara Frontier Region. Annual grants are awarded by the BOS to fund member-sponsored avian research projects. We are proud of our extensive scientific research databases, our continuing involvement in environmental and conservation activities that impact birds, and our promotion of the enjoyment of ornithology.

The BOS coverage area includes Western New York and parts of nearby Ontario, Canada. This region is rich in bird life with over 380 species and 25 recognizable subspecies of birds recorded. Explore our site to learn more about where to report and find birds, both regional specialties and rare visitors.

  Birds of Prey Days Festival

We hope you consider joining us for a weekend of fun on the shores of Lake Ontario. We see an incredible spring migration of 14+ species of raptors, as well as countless other bird species.

Friday, April 27-29, 2018. This 3-day event is at Braddock Bay Park, a Town of Greece Park.

For more information, visit their website at: Bird of Prey Days

  Hamburg Hawk Watch Season Has Started!

Mar. 15 - May 15. Hamburg Hawk Watch at Lakeside Memorial Park in Hamburg (off Camp Road between Routes 5 & 20). Stop by between 10 AM and 3 PM (weather permitting)!

Dates still needed for coverage:
April: 15
May: 7, 12, 14

If you can help, please contact Jim Landau (716-941-3869 or landaujr@gmail.com).

  Upcoming Field Trips and Events

Several field trips, meetings, and events have recently been added to our calendar. Take a look and be sure to join us at a meeting or on one of our field trips!

Apr 29, 2018

Field Trip - Genesee County Park Doug's Way

Details: (click for more info)

Meet at 8am at the Save-A-Lot parking lot at 45 Ellicott St., Batavia, NY (corner of Ellicott and Jackson Streets).
Leader is Doug Beattie; sbeattie@rochester.rr.com,
(585) 356-3007.

Today's adventure will begin on Old Creek Road just south of the City of Batavia. This area has habitat for American Woodcock, Wilson's Snipe and American Bittern. We will also be looking for newly arrived Cliff Swallows and early shorebirds, such as yellowlegs.
We will then continue on to Genesee County Park. We will make several stops along the way to scan fields for Lapland Longspur, American Pipit and Horned Lark. At the county park, we will walk gravel roads and a few easy trails as we look for newly arrived migrant passerines, waterfowl and hopefully see and hear Common Raven.
There are restrooms at the county park and Doug said he would make sure they are opened for us. How very thoughtful! This will be a half day trip. Bring a lunch to enjoy after our morning birding outing and we can recap the highlights of the day.

May 05, 2018

Field Trip - Tifft Nature Preserve

Details: (click for more info)

Meet at 7:30am with Seaghan Coleman as leader, seaghanc@gmail.com, (716) 435-7753.

This trip will focus on newly arrived neotropical migrants as well as lingering waterfowl and sparrows. Tifft holds the distinctive honor of having the highest number of species recorded on premises in our region - over 250! The list of highlights is long and includes Kentucky, Connecticut and Yellow-throated Warblers, Summer Tanager, Sedge Wren, Barn Owl, Yellow-crowned Night-Heron and so much more.

We will hike the trails in search of warblers, thrushes and other long-distance migrants as well as look over the marsh for rails and bitterns. If we are lucky, we may see late migrant raptors.

This will be an easy walk over level ground and boardwalks, possibly muddy trails. Meet on the observation deck in front of the Visitor Center. The trip will span the morning hours so make sure to bring a lunch and something to drink.

May 09, 2018

Meeting - Cayuga Lake Birding - Montezuma NWR and Cayuga County

Details: (click for more info)

May 9th: Wed. BOS Meeting in the Cummings Room of the Buffalo Museum of Science at 7:00 PM.

David Suggs will be presenting.

May 12, 2018

Field Trip - Braddock Bay Bird Observatory Banding Station

Details: (click for more info)

This will surely be a phenomenal day of a different type of birding...birds in the hand. We will be visiting a passerine banding station with opportunities to see a wide variety of birds up close and personal during the high point of spring migration! Today also coincides with International Migratory Bird Day.
Owl Woods is nearby and we can also walk and bird the trails here, although don't expect owls as it is past their predominate migration window. We will also make an effort to look over Braddock Bay itself for lingering waterfowl and don't forget to look up as hawk flights will still be possible!
Meet at 8am at the passerine banding station (see link to map above). Bring rubber boots in case of mud, drinks and snacks/lunch, oh yeah, and your camera!
Leader is Alec Humann, alechumann@msn.com, (716) 604-2971.

May 20, 2018

May Bird Count

Details: (click for more info)

Sunday, May 20th.

All BOS members should participate in the 81st Annual May Bird Count.

For more information or to volunteer your help, visit our May Count webpage:

May Count Info  

May 26, 2018

Field Trip - Wainfleet Bog Whip Trip

Details: (click for more info)

Leader is Joe Fell, jfell2000@gmail.com, (716) 239-1508. Meet at 8pm at the intersection of Wilson and Garringer Roads, Wainfleet, Ontario. This location is north of Morgan's Point. Whips may not start calling until 930 so plan accordingly.

SPECIAL NOTE - This trip requires crossing the border into Canada. Proper identification is required (Passport, NEXUS, Enhanced Driver's License). Bridge toll also required.

Back by popular demand!!! This trip used to be an annual highlight for BOS members and was led by Bill Burch.
Wainfleet Bog's underlying peat material supports plants such as Labrador tea and cotton grass.
This year Joe Fell will lead us for an evening trip to the Wainfleet Bog. As evening descends and birds begin singing after the midday lull, we will listen for Wood Thrush, Veery, Mourning Warbler and Alder Flycatcher. Both species of cuckoos breed here and we will be looking for these birds as well. Last year at this time, a Yellow-breasted Chat delighted birders for several days and this species has occurred at this location multiple times over the years.

As the skies darken we may see American Woodcock along the roadsides. The stars of the show come next...Eastern Whip-poor-wills. As the sky darkens a bit more, Whips should begin singing and we should hear multiple individuals. The birds frequently come out onto the road to hunt for insects. As we drive we will look for eyeshine from the birds and hopefully get to see them sally up from the road after moths and other insects.

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